The Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat played an intensely physical playoff series in the 2012 playoffs, and the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals was no different.
Both the Pacers and Heat were called for a number of hard fouls in Wednesday night's Game 1, a 103-102 Heat victory. LeBron James was pulled to the ground by his arm on a drive to the rim, while David West was on the receiving end of a groin shot from Norris Cole.
Pacers center Roy Hibbert broke the silence Thursday regarding the hard fouls, and he was not happy. He took a knee to the groin from Shane Battier on a play Wednesday night, and on Thursday he implied that Battier did so on purpose.
"That wasn't inadvertent," Hibbert tweeted Thursday afternoon. "Battier knew what he was doing."
On the play in question, Battier drove to the hoop in the second quarter and appeared to throw his right knee into Hibbert's midsection when he rose up to block Battier's path to the rim. Battier was called for an offensive foul on the play.
If Hibbert seems grumpy, it's not because he is tired. Two hours earlier, he tweeted, "Bout to take this good ole nap."
In last year's Eastern Conference semifinal series between the two teams, Udonis Haslem was issued a flagrant foul after a retaliatory foul on Indiana's Tyler Hansborough (for a hard foul on Dwyane Wade earlier), and that was only the second-biggest hard play controversy of the series (Dexter Pittman was suspended from Game 6 after fouling Lance Stephenson hard in Game 5).
Hibbert's comments about Battier are a clear reminder that these teams do not particularly care for each other, a fact that will likely make for continued intensity throughout the series.
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